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Official Start For Major Welsh Road

4 January 2011

A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently to start officially the construction of the last phase of the Peripheral Distributor Road (PDR) in Wales.

Neath Port Talbot Council has teamed up with contractor Costain to deliver the £107million ‘Harbour Way’ road link, the largest local authority transport project in Wales to be supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and European funding.

Creating 600 jobs during the 33 month construction period, the flagship project will provide the last 4.5km link from Afan Way to the A48 near junction 38 of the M4.

This final phase will make available up to 210 hectares of brownfield land for development to complement the Council’s regeneration plans for the waterfront from Margam in the east to Fabian Way in the west.

Council Leader, Ali Thomas, Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones and Costain’s Managing Director Infrastructure, Darren James attended the launch at the newly built visitor centre located on North Bank Road in Port Talbot.

A purpose built visitor centre has been included in the site offices and it will be open to the public every Wednesday from 1pm to 6pm. The public will be able to view an exhibition showing the route of the new road and DVD showing a virtual ‘fly through’ of the completed project.

The visitor centre will also be available for pre arranged visits outside these hours by schools and community groups and arrangements can be made through the website.

Costain is also looking forward to working closely with local schools and colleges and recently sponsored the Institute of Chartered Engineers ‘Engineering Team Challenge’, a competition open to all secondary schools in the region, at Swansea University.

Up to date information on the project as it progresses can be found by visiting www.harbourwayproject.com

Councillor Thomas said: “This strategic road will provide an attractive gateway to the town and open up development opportunities along the waterfront, in particular the Harbourside and Port Talbot town centre regeneration areas.

“It will benefit local communities, visitors and businesses alike and attract new investment and employment opportunities, not only during the construction period, but for generations to come. It will also improve access to local amenities and leisure facilities within the county borough, bolstering its already expanding tourism economy.”

Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is also the Minister for the Economy and Transport, said: "Despite challenging economic times we are determined to invest in capital projects that will bring long-term structural and economic benefits.

“Our new policy of Economic Renewal, underlines the importance of building the right infrastructure to boost our economy and  supporting people, communities and businesses – and I am  confident that once completed this road will prove of great benefit  for South-West Wales as a whole.”

Managing Director Infrastructure at Costain, Darren James, added: “Costain is delighted to be working in partnership with Neath Port Talbot Council to deliver another major infrastructure project in South Wales funded through resources provided by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Convergence Fund.

“Costain is fully committed to constructing the scheme utilising local resources and employing local people, increasing the skills base and providing a boost to the local economy.”